Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

phariseeandtaxcollectorLuke 18:9-14

9Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10“Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’
13“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Response:  The religious leader spent his days dedicated to studying and teaching the Jewish laws and faith.  The tax collector spent his days cheating his fellow Jews.  Which prayer did God answer and why and why not? 

3 thoughts on “Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

  1. God answered the tax collector. The tax collector confessed his sins to God. God does not answer the ones who claim to be his equal, he helps everyone. He will help those who have realized their mistakes. The Pharisee simply told God what he had not done, the tax collector confessed what he had done, and told him he was a sinner. He told God his mistakes.

  2. Some people think they can be justified—made righteous and just and innocent in God’s sight—by doing good deeds specified in the law. That was the Pharisee’s attitude, but it was actually the tax collector who was justified by God’s mercy. This is because God responds to those who confess their sins, not those who claim to be equal with him.

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